Historic Northeast Homes Tour returns

By Aniaya Reed

After the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, the Northeast Kansas City Historical Society (NEKCHS) was forced to halt the popular Northeast home tours, until now. The society will host its Ninth Annual Homes Tour Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All seven properties are within walking distance: 300 Gladstone Blvd (The St. Francis), 435 Gladstone Blvd., 444 Gladstone Blvd., 309 Benton Blvd. (St. Anthony’s Church), 316 Benton Blvd., 516 Benton Blvd., and 430 Benton. The tour will begin at 315 Gladstone Blvd.

The first homes tour took place in February of 2012, and since then, NEKCHS has been showcasing the uniqueness of Northeast Kansas City homes. 

President of NEKCHS Cindy Khin is a big advocate for the tours.

“The purpose is to identify and spotlight these beautiful, older homes, but we also want to bring back people to the neighborhood,” Khin said. 

315 Gladstone Blvd. is the location for tent sales and check-in for the tour. They will have food trucks, curated vendors from Art Garden KC, a raffle for a unique Room Box (historical miniature), as well as NEKCHS merchandise for sale.  

“The money we get also goes back to the people, and not just our merchandise and books,” Khin explained. “We want to showcase how important community is.”

Megan Morgan, Vice President of NEKCHS, talks about the influence the tour will have on the Northeast community.

“Some people give the Northeast a bad reputation, and the tours give us an opportunity to show our neighborhood in a positive light,” Morgan said. 

In future years, tours will be held in the six neighborhoods, Indian Mound, Independence Plaza, Lykins, Sheffield, Pendleton Heights and Scarritt Renaissance. 

“Northeast Kansas City Historical Society really combines historical presentation and community outreach,” Khin said. “We are six neighborhoods and one big community.”

Preservation, educational outreach and community outreach are the main topics the historical society wants to amplify in the Northeast. 

“Older homes were being torn down to put in new buildings, so in effort to preserve old homes NEKCHS was created,” Khin said. “We want to preserve the beautiful architecture of the communities and its uniqueness. It really started as just an organization that was committed to preservation and historical significance. We started as just an annual home tour and developed to having multiple events. We’re growing modestly.” 

The tours offer not only beautiful, memorable homes to explore, but also diverse and authentic people. 

“It’s a good way to meet neighbors and meet new people,” Morgan said. “The cool thing about the tour is that it brings a lot of people into the Northeast who usually wouldn’t make a trip to Northeast. I think it’s eye-opening. We’re kind of like a hidden gem. People really end up liking our neighborhood.”

Both Khin and Morgan have participated in the tours, showcasing their own homes in Northeast for the public to see their hard work preserving these homes.

“Cindy and I have both had our homes on the tour, as well, and it’s a proud moment showcasing our houses after renovations and restorations,” Morgan said. “This is the opportunity to celebrate that.”

The other event the historical society will hold is the lecture series where speakers discuss the history of Kansas City. This month, John Bordeau will discuss the castles of Kansas City on August 16 at PH Coffee, 2200 Lexington Ave.

NEKCHS’s book “Volume 1: Kansas City’s Historic Northeast Neighborhoods” is currently sold out. The society is looking forward to sharing their book, “Volume 2: Kansas City’s Historic Northeast Neighborhoods,” which retails at $50 for non-members and $45 for society members. They will be selling the book at the tour and at the lecture, as well as annual memberships.

If you would like more information about the tours and the historical society please visit nekchs.net/index.html

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